RTD: Waking the Creative Mind

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I took my boys to the Children’s Museum in Boston this weekend and it got me thinking once again about something that doesn’t come naturally to me — sparking their creative minds.

I’m a left brain type of guy and I thrive on the linear. Give me a point A and a point B and let’s talk about the steps that are going to take us from one to the other and then let’s execute those steps. I’ve always excelled in the realms of math and science and struggled in those of philosophy and art. But, I’m trying to get better at seeing the world in a way that doesn’t come naturally to me and by extension hopefully influence my boys to do the same.

Writing was really one of the first things I decided to practice with regularity to help myself become more creative. I’ve also taken a pretty serious interest in photography and both have influenced me to look at the world in a different light. Taking a picture with the intent of capturing the subject(s) in front of you is one thing, but thinking about the composition of the shot and what story you are trying to tell the viewer is a completely different thing altogether. Writing an article about my experiences in parenthood is all good and well, but trying to turn an everyday event into a dramatic tale is a whole different story.

I envy those of you for which this comes naturally and enjoy learning from you the different ways in which to perceive this world. Whether it’s a trip to a museum, going someplace we’ve never been, or vacation, I often default to giving myself a pat on the back for a job well done at exposing my boys to the world around them and pretty much stop there. Sure I’d ask them questions after about what new things they learned or what were their favorite parts, but I’m learning that it doesn’t have to stop there. Shouldn’t stop there.

Creative play the next day or shortly afterwards is something I try to encourage more of these days. Whether it’s breaking out their entire cache of craft supplies or simply the crayons and some paper, getting them to continue to express themselves about what they were exposed to, especially in different/creative ways, is very rewarding. My youngest has been on a manatee and dolphin kick ever since our Florida vacation earlier this year and the books we suggest that he checks out from the library are a big part of that reason. My oldest is just at the age where he can write a short story and I know that this is something we need to encourage him to do more of after such experiences.

To be honest, much of the above thinking comes from the influence of friends within the Dads Round Table community, and to be blunt, I want more.

So for this week’s Round Table Discussion (RTD), let’s talk about sparking/waking the creative mind.

Does being creative come naturally to you? If so, was this always the case or did someone’s influence get you started down this path? What methods do you use to fuel/encourage your own creative mind? How about for your kids? Overall, why do you feel that this an important thing?

This Wednesday 6pm PST / 9pm EST, join us on Twitter to discuss.

Use the #DadsRT hashtag to follow along and participate.

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About Brad the Dad

Enjoy a unique, fresh and entertaining perspective on parenting as Brad the Dad learns what it takes to raise 2 boys in today's world. #DadsRT co-founder.

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